we could hang Anne Hathaway up right now and she could be a disco ball in that dress
an incredibly attractive disco ball
make all the boy disco balls go
wanna make your experience on this site just a teeny bit easier? here u go friend (n˘v˘•)¬
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Like so many parts of American history, popular culture depicts transgender history as one in which white leaders paved the way for everyone.
But, as our community has to keep reminding people, it was trans women of color who led the Stonewall riot and set off the gay rights movement in this country.
The work of countless black trans warriors have made significant impacts on equal rights and visibility throughout history. These pioneers forged ahead despite intersecting challenges and oppressions. Here are just five of the many black trans women whose influence has helped shape the transgender community as it is today.
"T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s exposes the triply oppressed (black, female, queer) pioneers of blues through interviews with cultural historians, vintage photos, footage, and recordings, all narrated by Jewelle Gomez. With lavish costumes and sexually suggestive lyrics, bisexual and lesbian singers such as Ma Rainey (got arrested for indecency at an all-girl party—while married to a man) and Gladys Bentley (a “bulldagger” in full tuxedo) were regularly shunned by the church and society for their rough and tumble ways.”
I saw a few masterposts going around tumblr and decided to make one. A lot of these links are helpful for High School as well! Enjoy and please tell me if you have problems with any link.
A bit of a detour into neuroscience today with a look at the chemical structures of some of the major neurotransmitters in the brain. Inspired in part by this post on the chemicals related to various emotions.
All available to download as free A3 PDFs at the bottom of the accompanying post (http://wp.me/p4aPLT-6C).
I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.
I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: ‘Dear Lupita,’ it reads, ‘I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.’
My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.
I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.
And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.
There is no shame in Black beauty."
Her remarkable speech from Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon where she won the Best Breakthrough Performance Award. Remarkable. Just…remarkable. *tears*
Media is not arbitrary, random, neutral nor apolitical.
Beyoncé I Countdown
Stories about creating this song:
I wrote most of it four or five years ago, and then just left it unfinished. I couldn’t figure out how to end the bridge or what the instrumentation would be. I couldn’t even figure out what the tempo should be - I kept feeling like the melody got too slow at the chorus but if I changed it then the verses would be all messed up. It was almost not going to be on the album, but I’m glad I finally pushed through the writing and arranging because it’s one of my absolute favorite cuts now.
Originally the overarching concept was describing the scene of a breakup as though you were watching yourself on film. The word “tendrils” used to be “cameras” for instance. When I revisited the song in my recent Winter sessions I decided that was a flat idea and rewrote chunks of it.
The first thing I recorded was the saxophones during the bridge - if you’re into recording or arranging songs you know how weird this is. I didn’t even have the song fully arranged at this point, I just knew what I wanted for that specific part of it so I got my friends Melissa and Mike to play this stuff while they were over to do some other recordings with me. (That was the same day Mike rocked the killer solos on Never Look Back.) It was a super hot day in the summer of 2012 and I remember we were all sweating while laying down these parts in the tiny, stuffy room that was my makeshift recording space after a recent move.
Fast forward a year and a half and I am nowhere further with the rest of the song. But slowly, I figure it out, and start recording my parts. Again getting weird with the recording process, the next thing I did after saxophones was acoustic guitar and vocals (usually you would build everything up from the rhythm section). But I needed to have the structure in place because I still couldn’t figure out the instrumentation.
It started to come together after that - drums should enter on verse 2, piano and organ as well, layers and layers of electric guitars, a touch of ethereal synth on the pre-bridge even though the rest of this is basically a country rock ballad but who cares. The finishing touch was the two tracks of pedal steel played by the lovely and brilliant Burke Carroll.
Eventually I realized that what I was doing was having the song just build and build and build - every section is more intense than the one that comes before, right up until the last fragile refrain where it drops back down to the almost-nothing where it began. And I think that’s the only way it could have been done. 0 to 10. It had to grow, and get inside you, and blow up.
Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender women represent an always-significant and increasingly-visible portion of the LGBTQ community. In addition to the legends of the Harlem Renaissance and the decades of groundbreaking activism spearheaded by women like Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith and Angela Davis, many of the most prominent coming out stories of the past two years have been black…